New provost will be announced soon

Published by adviser, Author: Erica Kurvach - Staff Reporter, Date: November 16, 2012
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President Norton has received the provost finalist surveys and their summaries on Friday to evaluate and decide on the next provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The date it will be announced is unknown. The announcement may be delayed depending on how much time Norton will have due to her current travels and Thanksgiving Break.

On Wednesday, Dr. Amanda Yale, the Provost Search Committee Chair and Associate Provost for Enrollment Services, took summaries of all the surveys done by campus faculty, staff and students and sent it back to the Search Committee so that they can confirm what they said. Then, Yale took all of the responses and sent it to Norton.

Yale believes that acceptable means to do the job of the Provost.

“We are a recommending body, not a decision-making body,” Yale said. “This means we consider all responses.”
Provost William Williams will retire sometime in between the end of January and the middle of March depending if they can find a replacement.

“The Provost is a very important leadership position,” Yale said. “When the President Norton is away, the Provost fills in for her job. Nearly 500 staff and faculty report to the Provost. He or she is ultimately responsible.”
The fact that Provost finalist Dr. DonnaJean Fredeen worked in the same school in Connecticut with President Norton may leave others to think that she will get picked.

“It is an all equal evaluation,” Yale said. “We keep referring back to the ad. It’s not one person who can do the job. They all do it differently because they have their own way of getting the job done. Where you went to school doesn’t matter. It’s the evaluation.”
However, all six of the finalists have met the qualifications on the ad.

“The decision making is not merely based on qualifications, but the pattern of evidence that perhaps have not been produced,” Yale said. “We see if they have not met the qualifications, but how much effort in each. What have they learned in each area?”

Some of the areas in the required qualifications include a doctorate from an accredited institution, a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion and the ability to foster academic standards of excellence.

“We see what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable,” Yale said. “We’re weighing how much experience they have in other places.  It’s important to be student-centric. It really is important to the Provost. The Provost has to ask, how will they impact the students?”

Dr. Condravy, an English professor and former SRU APSCUF president, has taken notes to see how each candidate met the requirements and how they fit with SRU.

“I like a candidate who focuses on academics and students in the core to SRU,” Condravy said. “I think that is a real key thing. I am looking for a candidate who is able to work collaboratively and has experience collegially to accomplish shared goals. I’m seeking someone to approve strategically budgeting programs.”
SGA President Dave Wolfe asked Ben Motyl, a junior accounting major, to do the provost interviews. Motyl believes all of the candidates were qualified.

“To me, I think the most qualified was Dr. Richard J. Helldobler,” Motyl said. “I think he had the best communication skills. He is very academic and student-oriented. He wants the best for our University.”
From June to August, SRU sent out an advertisement. They had 80 applicants in early September. They had members in at least one major division and faculty representatives. They used a screening instrument on the advertisement where they listed their preferences.

Then they visited 11 candidates for 11 airport interviews. The candidate spent one hour with the committee and then the next hour with Dr. Cheryl Norton.

After the committee narrowed down the search more, they invited six candidates to come to campus between October 18 and November 13. Each finalist sat down with the committee and was asked 12 questions for an hour and a half interview.

After the interviews, surveys were available online and in print.

Now the University will just have to wait for when the new Provost will be announced.

“For me, I would look at the intangibles,” Motyl said. “So this is how well they interact with the students, their personality and how well they fit with the University with our new President, Dr. Norton.”

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